I’ve been called many things that I didn’t like, and some that flatter (in a gratifying way), and some that feel just right. I’m going to dump some of the latter two categories here, partly out of vanity, and partly because some — one in particular that I want to preserve from Facebook’s unsearchable memory abyss — feel like epithets that I can live with, perhaps even live up to.
So, long ago, Gaspar dubbed me ‘il cappellano di Blogaria’; at about the same time, Timothy identified me as ‘the ghostly father of the blog world’. A former colleague described me as ‘a postmodern Victorian’, which rings true to me. Liz Ditz emailed David Farber, and he posted on his blog, a characterisation of me as ‘Ordained Priest, Academic…and Potential Felon?’ [that was with regard to my misadventure as the information highwayman].
A Northwestern student who took a Historical Jesus class with me summed up her course evaluation with the affirmation ‘bitchin’ biblical scholastitude!’ On a more formal note, Antonios Finitsis concluded a positive review of Faithful Interpretation alluded to my writing as ‘lucid and eloquent’ and describing me as ‘a master teacher’ (Horizons in Biblical Theology 29 (2007) 223f.).
At a recent conference, Tractorgirl observed that I was not “a product of the DIY rave culture”, but that I turned out actually to be “a middle aged bloke in a suit”. David Weinberger described me as ‘a clear, entertaining and generous writer’, and Elizabeth and I agreed that I’m a ‘post-Derridean New Critic’. Jonathon Delacour supposes that I’m ‘the only Blogarian who blogs doing dishes’. And one of my favourites will always be Accordion Guy‘s ascription to me of the title, ‘the Ferris Bueller of the Blogosphere’.
All of which is as it may be. I’m well aware that other critics will find my work inadequate or downright pernicious. That’s why all of the above merely prepares for the most recent characterization, from Judy Stack-Nelson: ‘Nietzsche in a chasuble’! I’m proud to have put that image in her head (even if she doesn’t think I’m really that dangerous a theorist). Thanks, Judy!

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